Friday, October 21, 2016

Man who shared 10-hour trip with deadly snake 'tried to be environmentally friendly'

A man who was forced to share a ride for 10 hours to to Alice Springs in Australia with a deadly mulga snake has said the incident occurred after he and a co-worker tried to be "environmentally friendly" and usher the large reptile off the road, before it shot towards their car. Road engineer Glen Auricht spoke about his experience, after it was revealed that he and another engineer travelled 500 kilometres (310 miles) with a mulga snake in the engine of their car. The mulga snake, also known as a king brown, has been named Australia's sixth-most dangerous snake species.

Mr Auricht said he was travelling with another engineer on the Plenty Highway, inspecting roads at about 8:30am on Tuesday when they saw the large mulga sunning itself on the road. "So being environmentally friendly we tried to push it off the road with a long stick, so it wouldn't get run over by other vehicles," he said. He said he was aware it was highly venomous but attempted to get it out of harm's way despite that. "We were trying to save the silly bugger," he said. But the snake then shot straight towards his car, despite it being parked quite a distance away, and managed to find refuge, Mr Auricht said.

"It looked like shelter to it I suppose," he said. Mr Auricht said at that point he and his colleague were "rather horrified". "We thought to ourselves, 'holy mackerel we've got a snake in our car'," he said. Mr Auricht said the pair then drove to Hart's Range and stopped for "a cuppa" and looked for their slippery sidekick. "We looked through the grille but couldn't see it … then we popped the bonnet and it was lying across the battery … across the air cleaner at the side of the engine," he said. "It looked quite happy, not too hot." Mr Auricht said he got a long piece of fencing wire and tried to lift it out of the engine bay. "It was upset that I was disturbing it, and it slithered out of the wire hook and back into the engine somewhere and we couldn't find it anymore," he said.

YouTube link. Alternative Facebook video.

The pair then drove more than 200 kilometres to Jervois because "they had to finish their jobs" and thought the snake was too big to wiggle its way into the cabin of the car. "He was a pretty big fella, thick as your arm, and we didn't think it could get through the vent," he said. "We checked out the other side of Jervois and saw it behind the headlight, it was happily sitting on the mudguard there before the air cleaner." The pair, then having finished their work for the day, made the 350-kilometre trek back to Alice Springs and pulled straight into the driveway of Alice Springs snake catcher Rex Neindorf's house. "I didn't want to take it home to the wife, she wouldn't have appreciated it," he said. "I might get into trouble with work for picking up hitch-hikers because we're not allowed to."

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